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I'll just come right out and say it so you can stop reading if this sort of thing offends you. Ready? I performed my first LGBT wedding on Saturday.
Yes, I did. Several weeks ago, friends Brian and Loree Romriell asked if I would officiate the wedding ceremony for their son Andrew and his partner, Jedidiah Smith.
Brian was almost apologetic, as if he was asking me to do something against my better judgment. That's a laugh. I have no better judgment. Besides, I see no reason why people who really love each other shouldn't get married regardless of race, gender or, far worse, political orientation.
This wasn't the first time I've been asked to perform a same-sex marriage. Last year two women wanted me to officiate their wedding. I agreed. Unfortunately, they broke up before the big day.
Then there was the gay couple who asked. After weeks of talking their parents into grudgingly attending the offensive ceremony, one of the grooms called the day before and uninvited me. His uber-Mormon mother had put her foot down. She would not attend his wedding if "that nasty man from The Tribune" was there.
Is that great or what? At a same-sex marriage in ultra-conservative Utah, it's a newspaper hack rather than gay people whose presence is the most objectionable. Damn, I love irony.
On Saturday evening, in a pouring rainstorm at the Draper Historical Park, I married Andrew and Jed to each other. Their dog Lance, who acted as ring bearer, wasn't crazy about getting rained on, but nearly everyone else was giddily happy.
I confess to being nervous, probably a lot more than the two grooms. Like them, it was my first time. What if I used the wrong terms to refer to their relationship? Seriously, what if I screwed up and referred to one of them as the bride?
What if I called their pending union a "LGBT marriage" or a "same-sex marriage" if the more approved term is a "gay wedding"? Would they fly into a rage and call the whole thing off?
Probably not. As with most weddings, the officiant is only a necessary evil. He or she is the person droning in the background while two souls who want to be one are thinking, "When will this person shut up so we can get on with our lives?" That's what I thought at my wedding.
But my wedding was a socially and ecclesiastically approved event. The problems Andrew and Jed will face in their life together might be far tougher than me marrying a Canadian.
I don't know a lot about divinity, theology, doctrine, dogma or whatever it is that some people use to explain God's mind to the rest of us. When it comes to love, I have to go with Forrest Gump's, "I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is."
Despite almost nothing going according to plan Saturday evening, a drenched Andrew and Jed were definitely in love. A blindfolded person could have seen it, and only a fool would have believed it to be anything else.
If they focus on their marriage, they'll have what all of us really want: to love and be loved. There's probably no greater feeling than finding sanctuary in another person's heart.
It won't be easy. Life never is. This is especially true for people willing to defy high-minded convention for the sake of love.
Andrew and Jed will forever remember that a few hours after the happiest moment in their lives, a nightmare with an assault rifle walked into a Florida nightclub looking for people just like them.
Robert Kirby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.